THE IN-YOUR-FACE MOMENT
1. The end of The Sopranos
This was the parting shot that left fans reeling. The last scene in the 2007 series finale of The Sopranos (right) cut to black, and viewers were either enraged at David Chase or in awe of his bold meta stroke. For me, it was a lightbulb moment when the shows most essential -- and, perhaps, most influential -- quality was put on extremely stark display. All along, The Sopranos had left things open-ended, both morally and plot-wise, in order to mirror life. The show continually asked the viewer to make their own judgments, spawning a school of cable series that similarly presented viewers with moral conundrums and no answers. With his blackout, Chase proved he meant business.
Pictured: A scene from "The Sopranos" series finale.